I’m like a lot of other moms in that I have A LOT of different projects and tasks going on simultaneously. There are moments when I can’t remember all of the things I have to do or figure out what I should work on. I find myself frozen, staring at the piles on my desk, and wondering what I should tackle next. I had a few of those moments this week, so I decided to take some time this weekend to step back, evaluate, and get myself organized. My husband’s been amused that I have so many followers to my “Organized!” board on Pinterest when, in fact, I have been pretty disorganized myself. This weekend, with a wide-open schedule, I was ready to categorize and pinpoint my goals and get them written down.
Creating an Uncluttered Work Space
I started with clearing off my desk. Every few months I do a big clean up of all my paper and piles, but this time I went further. I also cleared everything off my bulletin boards. Here are the steps I took:
- Going with the idea that I need a clean work surface area, I removed everything (even my beloved picture frames) and kept only the essentials on my desk: computer, scanner, printer, tissue, pen mug, post its, tape, stapler, and phone. I also allowed myself my paper calendar (I use my Google calendar for appointments, but I need my paper one for long-term planning and just because I like paper), and a folder with my current, small miscellaneous “to do” items.
- I cleared out the bookshelves above my desk, which were packed with books, so that I’d have room for some of the framed photos and other items that had previously lived on my desk. I relocated the books to our library, where I put them in categories so I can easily find what I’m looking for. The only books I kept on my office shelves are ones on my current reading list, ones I’m using for my research for my masters, ones that I want to re-read and use for my writing, and ones I just need close for emotional reasons. I organized the books by category.
- I removed everything from my bulletin board.
- Because I was on an organizational roll, I cleared out one of my file drawers (the one closest to where I work) and re-loaded it with just the files that I am actively using. It does not look Pinterest-worthy, but the drawer has about half as many papers in it
and things don’t get jammed and squished as I close the drawer, which is a victory for me. The files were off-loaded to the trash, to my “to be shredded” pile, or into a “to be stored” file box.
Here’s what my desk looked like after:
A side confession is that I’m not showing you my Project Table, which is next to my desk and now covered with some of the items removed from my desk. That’s next week’s organization project!
My Organization System: Bulletin Board & Binder
I decided to use my bulletin board as part of my goal organization system. I am a visual person and like to see reminders of what exactly I have going on. That’s one of the reasons why I always have so much stuff on my desk. I’m scared that if I put something in my file drawer I’ll forget about it. I also decided to create a simple binder to store backup materials that go along with my goals and plans.
I looked back at the resolutions I wrote out in early January and brainstormed on paper the categories that needed to be included on my board. My sloppy written brainstorming looked like this:
I like action words, so I came up with six verbs that fit my goal categories:
I measured my board, which is 36” across, and decided that each category gets one 6” wide strip (good math skills, huh?). I used scrapbooking paper to make each strip colorful. I created a header in a different paper and added category names and a few quotes.
I used sticky notes for my goals, so that I can move the notes, re-prioritize, cross off, or whatever. We’ll have to see what happens when I actually complete my first goal! Maybe I’ll create a special pile of “done” goals or put them on the back of the binder.
I simultaneously worked on my bulletin board and binder. The smaller goals are fine as stand-alone sticky notes on the board. For example, getting birthday gifts for family members, setting up date nights, and reading a specific book all are fine as just a blue sticky note. These ones don’t need any “backup” in the binder. But for big goals – like redecorating our project/play room and researching healthy eating plans, I needed to break the big goal down into smaller, less daunting steps. For big goals, I’m using the goal worksheets I found here (via Pinterest!): http://getbuttonedup.com/2009/12/30/tool-free-printable-goal-list-form/
So, that’s it. That’s what I did yesterday afternoon and this morning. Now, it’s time to go actually get something done in my new, organized work space!
Visit my Organization board on Pinterest for more ideas and inspirations about getting organized.
Thanks for reading, and have fun organizing!